nomad by Åke Axelsson
With simple wooden posts and traditionally bent frames, with rounded rods and canvas, without screws, nails or glue, Åke Axelsson, born in 1932, designer and co-owner of Gärsnäs, summarizes 60 years as a professional in his own furniture collection ‘Nomad’.
Åke Axelsson’s furniture collection Nomad for the home is characterized by simplicity; everything from the construction and packaging to the distribution. The furniture is aimed at a design conscious, nomadic audience living in a small space, but is at the same time indicating the type of Swedish peasant traditional ideal that is close to the heart of Åke Axelsson. The collection is defined by traditional shapes, high functionality, great comfort, local production and longevity. “Nomad is a type of anti-design, where I have tried to push the simplicity to extremes. It is a highly personal collection, a kind of testament and the result of my 60 years as a designer and interior designer. I lack a statement in the design industry today, and feel that there is some sort of flashiness, partly instigated by the media. My collection is against all that.” says Åke Axelsson.
The growing ecological awareness in the furniture industry involves new challenges which correspond with the smallholder’s upbringing of Åke Axelsson in Småland, southeastern Sweden. In Nomad he has placed great emphasis on minimizing resources, as well as sustainability. The design is minimalistic, the shapes reduced to an absolute minimum, and production takes place with sensible use of materials with as little spillage as possible and good storage, at the same time as Swedish craftsmanship and industrial knowledge are preserved. Nomad is designed with the aim of an internet based distribution with direct channels between customer and producer. The furniture comes disassembled and the customer puts them together without tools, glue or screws.
As Åke Axelsson explains it: “The collection has been created from the idea of being so simple that it can be made by a small workshop. The pieces are simple and easy to produce, rather labour-intensive than technology-intensive and made in smaller series. A wider audience should also find it easy to get hold of the furniture and the internet makes the collection available to all. I feel it is important to show that it is worth producing and selling furniture even in a smaller scale.”